Former President John Dramani Mahama has indicated that the current implementation module of the Free SHS policy is unsustainable, and it’s lowering the quality and standard of education at the Secondary education level.
Speaking at the 8th Biennial National delegates conference of Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS) in Koforidua on Wednesday, August 17, 2022, he stressed stakeholders’ engagement in a review of the Free SHS policy.
Mr. Mahama also said Free SHS has come to stay, however it should not be implemented to compromise the three key pillars of education- access, affordability, and quality.
Former President Mahama who was the guest speaker at the event reiterated his position for private schools to be included in the Free Senior High School policy.
He also charged private schools to make ICT an integral part of basic education.
The President of the Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS), Dr Damascus Tuuroson on his behalf also stated that private schools were sidelined in the national standardized test, denied training on the new curriculum, and were treated unfairly in recent computerized selection and placement system.
He alleged that there seems to be a conspiracy to sabotage private schools in the country through unfavourable policies and total neglect of policy interventions by the government in an attempt to boost public schools.
“The state institutions which are supposed to nurse private schools during this period of crises have failed us rather than assisting us to brace this economic storm. Some state institutions are worsening the plight through their actions, inactions, pronouncements and in some cases deliberate sabotage”.
“Inasmuch as many of us are reluctant to believe the conspiracy theorists who claim that some government agencies are deliberately trying to sabotage the progress of private schools as a means of boosting public school education, current happenings strengthen the position of the conspiracy theorists.”
“How else will you explain a suggestion by the Director General of Ghana Education Service to the effect that 80% placement into category ”A” SHSs should be reserved for public school children whilst private school students seeking to enter Category “A” schools be made to sit an entrance Examination aside the BECE”.
“There appears to be almost 100% concentration on public schools to the neglect of private schools, in particular, our low fees private schools”.
Dr Tuuroson stressed that GNAPS will go to court to challenge the constitutionality of the priority quota system in category “A” schools.
GNAPS President said the current economic challenges in the country have worsened the plight of private schools after Covid-19 dealt a major blow.
He said the increased policy rate by the Bank of Ghana, high inflation and depreciation of the cedi are suffocating Private schools, particularly low fees schools that depend on loans to run.